In India, or better still, in Kerala which is God’s own country(and devils own people) if you are a girl and unmarrried at 25, its a crime!!!If you are single then there is something very wrong with you!
Marriage! That all important thing in a woman’s life or so they say! Something that gets even more importance in our society than other trivial matters such as education and women’s rights! Our social mindset is such that an Indian woman is only considered to be a “complete woman” if she has that chain(thaali,mangalsutra etc) around her neck and a baby(two is perfect) on her lap.
As someone who is single, I am constantly being told how essential marriage is for a happy, secure and stable life. It’s a social norm that must be followed; my “well wishers” inform me earnestly. Honestly, I really can’t seem to understand this point of view.
Marriage according to me is a conscious decision to spend your life with someone you truly love and want to be around the rest of your life. What on earth does thatt have to do with a woman’s security and social acceptance? The general arguement is that a woman needs someone in her life to “Take Care” of her. Are we trying to imply that the modern Indian woman is not capable of taking the major decisions in her life and looking after her own needs? As for the majority of women is this country who are not financially independent, isn’t it a better idea to empower and educate them so that they become self reliant instead of just marrying them off to someone so that they are “looked after” for the rest of their lives. And how many times does it work? Haven’t we all seen umpteen examples when a woman is ill-treated by her husband and left to fend for herself? Usually women don’t even have the courage to walk out of an abusive marriage because they are afraid of the social stigma.
We need to stop treating a woman as a “Responsibility” or a “burden” and treat her as an individual with the freedom to live her life as she wants. We need to acknowledge and support a woman’s right to fight against an abusive marriage instead of telling her to quietly accept her lot.The Problem is, a woman’s hopes and aspirations don’t stand much of a chance in our male dominated society. Indian woman is supposed to be the epitome of sacrifice – She is told that she must compromise her own happiness and desires for the good of her family. Yes, there is a little give and take in every relationship. We make adjustments and sacrifices for the people we love – be it friends, family or siblings. But do we really need to submerge our own identity to get the so called fulfillment and social acceptance that marriage offers? Is marriage the only thing a woman can derive happiness and contentment from? Isn’t the freedom to follow our dreams and aspirations and live our life the way we want enough to make us happy? Wouldn’t a woman who hasn’t found the man or cannot be with the man of her choice, be happier living alone, doing what she wants, instead of getting stuck in a marriage where she lives a stifled existence.
Ladies,wouldn’t you rather be in the driving seat of your own life rather than let your life be driven by someone else where you wouldn’t even have half a chance of back seat driving ! Some of us are lucky enough to live life on our own terms. But we are a minority, and even if our family is perfectly all right with us being single, society is definitely not.
I am not against the institution of marriage. A marriage between two people who truly care for and understand each other, is a real blessing. Just don’t make marriage a social compulsion, something we are obliged to do even if we are not happy doing it. Let a woman make her own choices, let her decide if she wants to stay single or get married and give her the right to walk out of an abusive or unhappy marriage without making it a social stigma.